A two-week course of high doses of CBD helps restore the function of two proteins key to reducing the accumulation of certain plaques in the brain – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease – and improves cognition in a mouse model of early-onset familial Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Familial Alzheimer’s in an inherited version of the disease in which symptoms begin to occur in people in their 30s and 40s. About 10-15% of patients suffer from the inherited version.
Dr. Babak Baban, immunologist and associate dean for research at Georgia’s Augusta Georgia Dental College of Georgia, explained in a press release that CBD reduced levels of the protein IL-6, which is associated with the high inflammation levels found in Alzheimer’s. The cannabinoid also improved cognition in the mouse models used in the study.
The researchers found that CBD appeared to normalize levels of IL-33 and TREM2, by sevenfold and tenfold, respectively. When both proteins are low, it’s a clear indication of the disease, the researchers said. It’s the first time CBD has been found to normalize these levels.
“There is a dire need for due innovative therapeutic modalities to improve outcomes of AD patients. … Our findings suggest that CBD treatment enhanced IL-33 and TREM2 expression, ameliorated the symptoms of AD, and retarded cognitive decline.” – “Cannabidiol Ameliorates Cognitive Function via Regulation of IL-33 and TREM2 Upregulation in a Murine Model of Alzheimer’s Disease, Feb 17, 2021, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
The researchers said the next steps include determining optimal doses, giving CBD earlier in the disease process, and moving toward potential clinical trials. They also are exploring delivery systems including the use of an inhaler that could help deliver the CBD more directly to the brain.
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